The world tells me that turning 30 is a big deal. So big, it seems, that there are think pieces in Huffington Post and Vox on learned life lessons, things you should no longer do and, in an attempt at a positive spin, why life actually begins at 30 (as if I've been stuck in limbo this whole time).
According to society, there are a number of things I should have achieved by now. These include having a high-flying career, owning a house, getting married, having children, publishing a book/creating an app/starting a business/winning a prestigious prize and traveling Asia with nothing but a backpack and my joie de vie.
I have done none of these things.
I know in reality nothing will change. That I'll wake up tomorrow and look the same and feel the same and act the same. And I know how blessed I am to have got to 30 with such a full life lived. Not everyone gets that privilege. So rather than reflect on my past and lament any regrets I might have, I'm going to focus on the future. On the things I want to learn and the things I have yet to achieve. Below I've listed just a few things that I want to do as I head into my next decade.
I'll let you into a little secret. I'm pretty damn scared of failing. No matter how many times it happens, it sucks every time and doesn't really get easier. But I don't want the fear of failure to keep me from attempting my life goals. I want to dream recklessly and go for what I want, regardless of whether I succeed. I'll try, I'll fail, I'll get rejected and I will get back up and keep on trying. And, hey, one day I'll get there.
Care less/ care more
Care less about the things that don't matter. Social media, appearances, material possessions, what people think about me. And care more about the things that do - kindness, being a good friend, being more selfless, showing love, combating injustice.
Be perpetually curious
The world is a place of wonder and colour and possibility. There's so much to see and do it's a bit overwhelming. I don't want to stay in a comfortable little bubble, I want to push the envelope. I want to learn and explore and travel and immerse myself in creativity. I want to burn as bright as possible (bright - geddit? Haha...oh).
Stay in my lane
My life's journey is not going to look exactly like someone else's and that's ok. So what if I have not done everything I thought I might have by this age? There's still time. I don't want to spend my life preoccupied on whether I'm...enough. Clever enough, pretty enough, fun enough, ambitious enough. God tells me I am, even if the world might not, and I aim to live in that truth.
So thanks 20s, you were pretty great. You bought me travel, education, jobs, friends, family and a greater sense of self. And here's to you 30s, I have a feeling you might be even better.